'Global Zero' summit welcomed by CND

By agency reporter
21 Jun 2011

The 'Global Zero' summit taking place in London 21st-23rd June indicates the increasing extent of the demand - from political, military and cultural leaders - for urgent action to achieve global nuclear disarmament says the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

The Summit will bring together over 100 leading members of Global Zero to discuss and debate with senior officials from several governments. They will undertake intensive policy discussions on how all nuclear weapons states may be brought to the table to negotiate multilateral nuclear arms reductions. They will also consider the strategy needed to build public and political support for this agenda.

The Summit will begin with the UK premiere of the critically acclaimed film, Countdown to Zero. This, together with a panel discussion featuring Queen Noor of Jordan, ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and Oscar-winning producer Lawrence Bender, will be streamed live to around 50 cinemas and other venues throughout the UK. Many of the events are hosted by local anti-nuclear campaigners.

Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, "This very welcome summit shows just how broad the demand for a world free of nuclear weapons now is. From President Obama down, political and military leaders are increasingly coming to accept that nuclear weapons can play no useful role in preserving security. In fact they do the reverse, with hundreds of missiles poised to launch at a moment's notice."

She continied, "Britain must play its part in supporting President Obama's initiatives and declaring itself ready to actualise its existing commitment to disarm, under the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Our government already accepts Britain faces no state-on-state nuclear threat. Now is the time for the UK to rid itself of the city-destroying Trident missiles and back the negotiation of a nuclear weapons convention, banning nukes in the way that chemical and biological weapons are outlawed.

"Global Zero estimate that global spending on nuclear weapons will amount to $1,000bn this decade - a monstrous sum to be devoting to the maintenance of a system that does nothing to tackle the real insecurities facing humanity in the 21st century. The cost of building, let alone running the replacement for the UK's Trident submarines, has already increased from £11 to £25 billion before detailed planning has even begun.

"Now is the time for our government to concentrate on real priorities and scrap its ruinously expensive nuclear weapons programme." she concluded.

[Ekk/4]

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